Monday, April 8, 2013

Superman #18

Do I really need to comment on this? Lobdell's name is on the cover and I really don't need my blood pressure to get any higher.

I'm going to add and subtract ranks for this comic book as I go. Often I'll read a Lobdell comic book with blood leaking out of my eyes, raving like a madman. And then I end the commentary with Superman dropping a single rank. Well, no more! I am embracing my bias completely until Scott Lobdell shows he can write a coherent story with well-developed characters. Every time I am even slightly irked by something in the comic book, I will drop this book's rank. And since it's currently ranked 45 out of 52, I predict it will be the worst comic in the new 52 before I'm even halfway finished with it.

Lobdell begins with an omniscient asshole narrating the comic. "His name is Orion. He is a New God. Obviously." Fuck you and your "obviously"! What is that even supposed to mean? I imagine there are a lot of people that don't really know Orion (shame on them for not reading Azzarello's Wonder Woman!), so it's not actually obvious. And if he means it's obvious because everybody reading should automatically recognize the names of all ancient, old, and forgotten Gods, that's simply idiotic. So because I'm already confused and put off by the narrator's attitude, Superman drops one rank!

Orion is currently in some place called "Undertown" where a recent catastrophe called "The Sunder" has released some creatures called "Behemoths" which haven't been seen for "a thousand thousand" years. That would be a million years for the maths challenged. The people of Undertown prayed to their Gods for help but the omniscient asshole declares their Gods are "indifferent" although he's "putting it politely" when he says that. Orion just happened to stop by to get out some frustrations by punching Behemoths in the mouth. He didn't even care about saving the people. But after he defeats the Behemoth, he says to the villagers, "You can come out now--cowards! No parade needed. Keep your animal sacrifices." Okay, so he's a dick. He wasn't there to save them anyway, so I can see why he tells them not to bother with any kind of worshipful thanks. Although I'm not sure why he calls them cowards when they're hiding from a creature that's about a thousand thousand times larger than they are. But I guess Orion was just kidding about not wanting to be acknowledged for the side effect of saving them when his main goal was just to blow off steam.

Judas Priest, give them a fucking chance! First you call them cowards. Then tell them to hold their applause. And then lash out at them because they didn't say thank you quickly enough? I'm pretty fucking sure they all would have been saying thank you in a loud chorus as soon as they crawled out of their hiding places. But this is a Lobdell comic book, so fuck that shit! That's expected, cliche bullshit! He'd rather go with a big surprise and have people not act the way people would actually act. Minus another rank!

Even though Orion has yet to kill the thing he was supposed to kill on Earth to save All
Time over in the pages of Wonder Woman, Highfather has called him home for a new task. Orion doesn't even know why he's so angry and believes it might be because Highfather keeps giving him stupid chores. I think it's because Wonder Woman wouldn't even flirt with him.

After wondering why he's so angry, Orion has a little think to himself as he flies off home to daddy.

So their emotions are ridiculous but yours are profound?

I'm fairly certain Orion's comment about humans and their ridiculous emotions is supposed to highlight how the New Gods aren't emotional. Although Orion was just thinking about how angry he was. So, um, minus one rank. But this bile about humans and their emotions is one of those tropes that I can't stand that continuously comes up in comic books. As if humans are the only race that has emotions and the only race that strives for goodness and the only race that never gives up. Humans are always picked out as special for one stupid ass reason or another. But there are many, many different alien species in the DC Universe and a good majority of them act just like humans do. And then Orion has an epiphany.

So that's why he's angry? Because he suddenly realized he's a boring piece of shit?

That was just the Prologue and it already cost Superman three ranks. And Superman wasn't even in it to defend himself! Well that will all change now that Chapter One has started and Superman is speaking to a room full of old white men. They need to know why he's built a fort at the top of the world. Oh! Oh! I know what Superman's answer should be! "What the fuck does that have to do with you, honky?"

My favorite part is how Superman objects to the "Fortress" of Solitude being categorized as a "Fortified Bunker". You should have named it The Bouncy Fun Time Castle of Cookies.

The old white men who have to be in control of everything or else they feel impotent and unsafe declare that Superman must allow inspectors into his Cookie Castle. And it's at that point when Superman says, "Fuck y'all, bitches!" That's what I think he should have opened with!

I was avoiding making any assumptions as to where these old white men were from but now that they've said The United States of America, I can solve Superman's problem!

Superman's response is absolutely the right one although he should go a little further. First off, he isn't actually a citizen of the United States of America. He may claim the country as his home but he has nothing to prove that he's a citizen (at least not as Superman). He can just tell them to fuck off and that he'll live where he pleases. Of course if he does that, he'll probably have INS on his ass whenever he shows it. But I don't think he should be speaking with Congress or whoever these jerks are without a lawyer. The Fortress of Solitude may not even lie within a part of the Arctic "owned" by any country. It probably floats around on a thick layer of ice or something. Superman should actually be more worried about what Russia thinks since his Fortress probably floats in or near waters they claim as their own and since he claims to be American, they might have some issues with this living arrangement. I think Superman should have just never acknowledged this hearing.

Oh, okay. This was international. And I guess Superman has consulted a lawyer!

When do people begin falling out of the sky like on the cover?

In Chapter Two, Clark Kent learns that Cat Grant wants to run a news and entertainment website with him. And she wants to name it ClarkCatropolis. Ugh.

Why hasn't DC done anything but link this domain to their Superman site?! Oh, probably because it's so fucking awful even they don't want to waste time on it.

Oh! And then everybody begins jumping off the roof to get away from the horrible Cat Grant and her awful business idea. Superman saves them all and they all assume Superman was behind it. Because let's just keep writing stories where nobody trusts Superman! I'm pretty sure that's the only story Lobdell has in him. Except for the Oracle one where he kept hyping the Oracle and then nothing came of it. That was a really terrific story there. Cat Grant tries to interview Superman for her shit website and the first question she asks him is not, "How come you saved everybody but Clark Kent? Where is he? Is he smashed on the pavement below?"

Cat Grant is a selfish prick that doesn't care that her potential business partner just disappeared. You read it here first, listeners! Have a Tesstastic day!

In the Epilogue to the story, we discover that Hector Hammond (bound in STAR Labs in a supposedly vegetative state) was the one that made everybody jump off the building. Unless he wasn't the cause. But if he wasn't the cause then I don't know how this is in any way an epilogue to the story. But I shouldn't sweat that since the Orion part wasn't actually a prologue to the story. Unless the Second Epilogue somehow connects the Prologue to the rest of the issue.

The Second Epilogue simply makes sure this comic drops another two ranks for two of my most hated tropes which come about due to a lazy writer: Prophecy directing character actions and impending threats to ALL OF EXISTENCE!

Superman #18 Rating: -5 Rankings. I'm not sure why Highfather says, "The wall shows us a world," when that world is obviously Earth. But then it explodes and Orion remembers the explosion. So is this an Earth from a different one of the 52 universes? And is the Superman that Orion sees as the great threat a Superman from a different one of the 52 universes? If this Earth blowing up is an alternate timeline, it has to be one of the other 51 universes because DC does not have Infinite Earths anymore. It simply has 52 alternate Earths. And each of the 52 Alternate Universes does not have an infinite amount of universes of that universe! Although that's kind of how things like Captain Atom and Legion Lost and Action Comics have been reading. So I'm probably wrong and DC actually does have Infinite Earths but they're too dumb to realize the situation they've put themselves back into.

Oh wait! I should give this comic book another drop in the ranks because I can't stand stories that focus on making the hero look like a bad guy. I'm especially sick of the everybody mistrusting Superman bullshit. Can we just move on and allow him to be a hero already?


  1. Quite possibly the worst issue of Superman since the New 52 started. I just don't even know what to say about this series anymore I have know idea why I'm torturing myself by continually reading it.

    Btw new to the blog and love it keep up the good work!

  2. I think if you're a fan of Superman, you're a fan of Hope. So you keep picking up each issue knowing it can only get better! It has to get better! How can Lobdell make it any worse?!

    And then you remember. Scott Lobdell kills hope.